Redundancy

Redundancy

Redundancy is when an employee is dismissed from employment due the employers reducing their staff.

Reasons for redundancy:

Employers have the freedom and may have many reasons to change their business which may involve reducing their workforce. Some reasons include: Relocating, reorganisation, economic pressures, changing markets, or replacing staff with automated systems. Law does not stop an employer from making such changes to a business and usually an employer isn’t required to justify reasons for making redundancies.

An employer can’t be subjective when selecting an employee for dismissal such as criteria based on age, race, gender, religion, disabilities or if the employee is pregnant. If so the employer may be under breach of rights on grounds of unfair dismissal. Instead an employer should be objective, an employer is allowed to select an employee for dismissal based on their performance, skills and training, attendance, disciplinary record and their experience or capability to perform the tasks outlined in their contract. When an employer selects an employee for redundancy they may be asked to demonstrate that their criteria for selection was fair and to justify their selection.

Employee rights:

If an employee is being made redundant they may be entitled to the following rights.

  • Redundancy Pay.
  • Notice Period.
  • A consultation with their employer.
  • Time off to find a new job.
  • If applicable the option to move into a different job.

Initial consultation:

Before finalising employees for redundancy an employer should first consult with all employees who may be chosen for redundancy. The employer should be prepared to address the following:

  • Reason for the redundancy and ways the redundancy may be avoided.
  • Consideration of alternative positions they may be available for the employee.
  • The basis or criteria for redundancy selection.
  • An opportunity for the employee to give any additional information which may affect the employers decision.
  • Other concerns the employee may wish to address.

If an employer does not consult with the employee or does not give the employee an opportunity to appeal decision then the employer may be liable for unfair dismissal.

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